Specific occupations in Canada where foreign nationals are permitted to work without a work visa. The following occupations in Canada do not require a work visa from foreign nationals looking for work in the country.
- Business Visitor
- Foreign Representatives and Their Family Members
- Military Personnel
- Foreign Government Officers
- On-Campus Work
- Performing Artists
- Athletes and Team Members
- News Reporters and Media Crews
- Public Speakers
- Convention Organizers
- Judges, Referees and Similar Officials
- Examiners and Evaluators
- Expert Witnesses or Investigators
- Health Care Students
- Civil Aviation Inspectors
- Aviation Accident or Incident Inspectors
- Emergency Service Providers
- Implied Status
- Off-Campus Work
- Farm Work
Military Personnel Job without Work Permit in Canada
If you are a member of the armed forces from a country recognized as a Visiting Force by the Canadian government, you can enter Canada and work without a work visa. Here’s a list of those nations if you’re interested.
Despite the name, “military attachés” are not eligible for the exemption because they are civilian employees of diplomatic missions; this exemption only applies to active duty military members.
Athletes and Team Members:
Professional and amateur athletes born outside of Canada are allowed to compete in athletic events in Canada without a work visa. The need for a work permit is waived for all key members of the squad, including coaches and trainers.
Wives of Canadian professional athletes are required to obtain a work permit but are not subject to the LMIA policy.
Speakers booked for one-off events, paid speakers, and seminar hosts all fall into this category. All of the aforementioned cannot have speaking engagements that run more than 5 days. However, in order to enter Canada, the following keynote speakers will need to first get a work permit and an LMIA.:
- Commercial speakers who are hired by a Canadian business to provide training services.
- Guest athletics instructors coming to teach weekend seminars.
No work visa is required for individuals, committees, or support staff involved in the planning of a convention or conference in Canada. This exemption applies to the following situations:
- Association meetings
- Corporate meetings
- Trade shows or exhibitions
- Consumer shows or exhibitions
Note: Hands-on” personnel, such as those involved in audiovisual services, installation and deconstruction, show decoration, or exhibit building, are not included in this exception.
Additionally, if the convention organizer is working on behalf of an organization that:
- Is actively doing business in Canada
- Is centered in Canada
- Has a subsidiary branch in Canada
If a person’s primary occupation is that of preaching theology, presiding over religious events, or offering spiritual direction, he or she will not be required to obtain a work permit..
A work permit is required, however an LMIA isn’t necessary if the task being done is religiously inspired community service..
In order to get admittance to Canada under this category, an individual must be able to produce evidence:
- The genuineness of their offer of religious employment
- The genuineness of the religious group that is offering the job
- The ability of the clergyman to perform clerical duties for a congregation of the relevant religious group
Note: Visa officials may ask for additional proof of religious employment’s authenticity in certain instances.
Judges, Referees and Similar Officials
Judges, referees and similar officials may work in Canada without a work permit if they are involved in:
- An international amateur sports contest
- The contest should be organized by an international amateur sporting association and hosted by a Canadian organization.
- An international cultural or artistic event or contest
- An animal or agricultural contest
Note: Referees for major sports leagues are typically required to have a work visa and a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Referees in the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and National Basketball Association are excluded from this rule due to bilateral agreements between Canada and the United States.
Examiners and Evaluators
In this group, successful academics who act as mentors and reviewers for students will be exempt from needing a work visa to enter Canada. Academics evaluating university programs or research proposals in Canada are also included in this category..
Expert Witnesses or Investigators
A worker does not need to obtain a work permit to enter Canada if he/she:
- Is entering Canada to conduct surveys or analyses that will be used as evidence before a regulatory body, tribunal or court of law
- Is entering Canada to serve as an expert witness before a regulatory body, tribunal or court of law
Civil Aviation Inspectors
Temporary visitors to Canada for the purpose of evaluating flight operations or cabin safety on international commercial flights do not need a work permit. Employees in this category must be employed by an agency officially responsible for ensuring the safety of aviation and must be in possession of appropriate identification proving their status as aviation inspectors..
Aviation Accident or Incident Inspectors
The Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act exempts from the need for a work permit accredited representatives or advisors who assist in the investigation of aviation accidents or incidents..
Emergency Service Providers
Persons who come to Canada for the purpose of rendering services in times of emergency are exempt from the work permit requirement. These persons may be:
- Medical teams
- Provincially licensed insurance adjusters
The emergencies may be medical, industrial, environmental or the result of a natural disaster.
In order to get entry to Canada without a work visa, foreign insurance adjusters must demonstrate that they comply with all applicable provincial regulatory standards..
If an employee is already in Canada and has applied for a new work permit before their current permission expires, they are allowed to continue working in Canada under the terms of their expired work permit. If the worker’s fresh work permit application is denied, they will be required to leave Canada..
A person may work on a farm without a work permit as long as:
- The farm work is on a volunteer basis
- The person’s primary reason for coming to Canada was something other than the farm work (such as tourism or visiting family/friends)00
- This farm is not run for profit. Most of the farm’s capital and labour come from the farm’s owner, and the farm’s products are used to meet the requirements of the farm’s owner and his or her family, rather than being sold for profit.